Most people are aware of the name of NASCAR’s most famous racing track which is located in the Midwestern United States. However, fewer people may know where the track is actually located. Therefore, this article will discuss the location of Martinsville Speedway as well as provide some interesting statistics about the race track.
The Track Lies In Alabama
The 1.526-mile oval track located in Martinsville, Virginia was originally built in 1927 and was named after the track’s founder, Bill Martins. Construction of the track was funded by a group of businesses and individuals that included Bill’s father and a company named Norfolk & Western Railway. The track’s first NASCAR race was held in May of 1928 and was won by Bill Elliott. Since then, Martinsville Speedway has held many classic races including the prestigious NASCAR Winston Cup Series. This year, the track is hosting the annual Bill Elliott 400 on April 3rd.
Even though Martinsville Speedway is located in Virginia, it is actually owned by the city of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The racetrack is leased from the city and pays a royalty to the town. The track’s legal address is 12205 Park Place Boulevard, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27107.
The Track Is Located In A Great Place To Race
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountain, the town of Franklin, Virginia is just 15 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem. This makes it the perfect place to race as there is a great view of the surrounding countryside and the town’s population is highly engaged in sports and outdoor activities. The town is also home to the Virginia Military Institute, whose cadets often race at the track during the fall season. VMI is one of the most prestigious military schools in the country and its cadets have won many races at Martinsville over the years. The town also has a public park called the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is a popular place for locals to picnic during the day while watching NASCAR races at night.
In the summertime, the track is surrounded by lush green trees and at night, the downtown skyscrapers are turned into perfect silhouettes against the clear sky. Even though this may be a tempting offer, drivers must remember that heat can be a major problem at Martinsville as the temperature can reach up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. This year’s race is scheduled for June 12-14th.
It Is One Of The Country’s Most Popular Racing Tracks
With over 120,000 fans per year, it is no secret that Martinsville Speedway is one of the most popular racing tracks in the country. This year, the track is celebrating its 80th anniversary and to commemorate this historic event, NASCAR is bringing back some of its popular race cars and gear, including the black-and-white paint scheme that was first introduced in 1936.
Since its inception, Martinsville Speedway has always attracted top-notch drivers and celebrities alike. From the likes of Babe Ruth, John D. Rockefeller and Winston Churchill to current NASCAR stars such as Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon and Richard Petty, the track has always been a destination for the rich and famous. Its popularity is also evidenced by the fact that over 20 major motion pictures have been filmed at the track. The most recent of these was the 2014 remake of The In-Betweener, which starred Will Ferrell and Tina Fey. The iconic track is set to host the 2015 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Chase for the Cup, a 10-race tournament that will end with a championship race on November 25th.
In addition to its illustrious past, the track also has some genuinely unique quirks. Much like its American counterpart in Daytona Beach, Florida, Martinsville Speedway has a large international fan base. This is largely thanks to the popularity of its marquee event the Bill Elliott 400. Every year, hundreds of fans from all over the world show up in Franklin, Virginia in the weeks leading up to this race. It is not uncommon to see fans from Belgium, Japan, Canada and Australia among the crowd. Unfortunately, the track is often plagued by bad weather, which makes it a bit harder for international fans to make it over for the big race. This year, hopefully, the bad weather will keep the fans at home.
There Are Many Variations Of The Race Track
Aside from its name and location, Martinsville Speedway is known for a couple of things; its distinctive peanut butter-like sponsorship and its challenging terrain, which includes long, sweeping turns and elevation changes.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Martinsville Speedway is its iconic, neon-green paint scheme. This is the result of a partnership between the track and Conoco, an oil company based in Canada. The colorful, plant-like design was first used in 2001 and was inspired by vegetation growing in the area. Even though these days NASCAR races are mainly held in the South, the Canadian Rockies are often a good source for cold weather and high elevation that serves as excellent training grounds for aspiring race drivers.
Another interesting detail about the track is that a significant amount of its annual income comes from the sale of merchandise: mostly hats, shirts and cups emblazoned with the iconic green and yellow colors. The track also fields a junior racing team, whose members can attend for free while learning the fundamentals of handling a car. This team is responsible for preparing some of the race cars for the big-name drivers and they also serve as a platform for amateur racers to experience the adrenaline rush of competing at a NASCAR race track. The juniors are also aided in their training by an expert staff that includes former drivers and current team managers.
One of the most interesting aspects about the track is its sheer size. Measuring a whopping 1.526 miles in circumference, the track is the third-largest dirt oval in existence, after Talladega and Daytona. This year, the track will host the Coke Zero 400 as part of the series’ return to form after a four-year absence. Not only that, but the track will also be holding the annual Daniel Moore Memorial Race, a race in memory of the young boy who lost his life in a horrific accident at the track in 1973. Even though this is a terrible tragedy, the track still holds this race every year because it means so much to the town and to the Moore family. The event will pay homage to Daniel with a moment of silence prior to the start of the race and will include tributes from the community and the Moore family. The event is named after a dedicated volunteer who worked tirelessly to make the track happen and protect it from corruption. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the team with its fundraising efforts and to help the Moore family with medical costs.
It Serves As A Mecca For NASCAR Fans
Not only is Martinsville Speedway one of NASCAR’s most famous tracks, it also serves as a Mecca for all fans of the sport. This track is so important to the sport that at least two races will be held during the year in which the track does not race. The other races are the Coke Zero 400 and the Great American Race, a one-of-a-kind exhibition featuring vintage cars that race on an old-fashioned highway similar to what we would see in an old Western movie. Martinsville will mark the halfway point of the NASCAR season in April and is a great place to be if you’re a fan of the sport. In fact, the entire area serves as a hub for all things NASCAR. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is less than 10 minutes away, as are some of the best restaurants and bars in the area. The local elementary school even has a NASCAR learning center where students can get hands-on experience by using video games and simulators to learn the ins and outs of driving a car. The town is also rich in history, having played host to some of the greatest races in the sport’s history, including the famed Indianapolis 500. The Indy 500 was first held here in 1911 and it continues to be one of the most popular annual sporting events in the country.
In the coming months, you’ll be able to make the trip to Martinsville and catch some thrilling NASCAR racing. The entire area is rich in American history and it’s definitely worth a visit for any fan of racing or sports in general. If you’re not familiar with the area, make sure to explore the region’s museums and cultural spots, which are filled with wonderful Americana.